Larson, DeLauro Commend Presidential Helicopter Contract for United Technologies Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin
Washington - Today, Reps. John B. Larson (CT-01) and Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) commended the announcement that United Technologies Sikorsky Aircraft along with Lockheed Martin have been awarded the production contract for the Presidential Helicopter. The contract brings the Helicopter back to Sikorsky following pressure from Larson, DeLauro and the Connecticut Delegation on the Pentagon to end a previous contract with Lockheed Martin and the European based AugustaWestland after large cost overruns nearly doubled the price of the program and saw it fall six years behind schedule.
“I commend the announcement that Sikorsky Aircraft will once again be producing the Presidential Helicopter,” said Larson. “This contract is a testament to the hard working men and women at Sikorsky. A part of our nation’s history, this helicopter is a great source of pride for Connecticut manufacturing. I look forward to seeing the President fly in a helicopter produced by Connecticut machinists who are once again building a part of that history."
“Sikorsky has long been synonymous with Marine One, the presidential helicopter,” DeLauro said. “Every president since Eisenhower has flown in a Sikorsky, made right in Connecticut. I am thrilled to see this contract come back to Stratford where it has always belonged and where it should have gone in the first place. Congratulations to the dedicated men and women who make the best helicopters in the world.”
Sikorsky has historically flown the President prior to the Lockheed Martin, AugustaWestland 2005-2009 contract. Following efforts that began immediately after that former contract was announced, Congressman Larson, Congresswoman DeLauro and the Connecticut Delegation wrote to then Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter in February of 2009 expressing concern regarding the significant cost overruns associated with the previous Presidential Helicopter, spurring nationwide attention on the program. In April of 2009, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recommended termination of that contract, citing it had fallen six years behind schedule.
Following that recommendation and the cancellation of the previous contract, Larson, DeLauro and the Connecticut Delegation again wrote to Secretary Gates suggesting that a “solution might be to award the contract to the only other qualified competitor, Sikorsky’s H-92 helicopter, and team Sikorsky with the incumbent systems integrator, Lockheed Martin.” In today’s announced contract, Sikorsky Aircraft will lead a team that includes Lockheed Martin, along with Rockwell Collins, Honeywell International and United Technologies Aerospace Systems.